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Traits + Skills

Started by Valamir, May 02, 2002, 12:01:48 PM

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Mike Holmes

Quote from: PaganiniHowever, it does eleminate the breakpoint problem that we were discussing.

So far the new version sounds pretty good. But how does it solve the breakpoint problem? The old system simply used a Split Pool method (one pool for stats and another for skills), which is on of the standard solutions that I came up with. This is less than optimal as it means that a plaer cannot slant his character towards talent (stats) or experience (skills). All starting characters are similarly weighted. Is the new system different (I haven't looked at it, having heard that it was pretty much the same thing).

Mike
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Bailey

Quote from: Mike Holmes
How do you get around the currency problem? Is it one of the solutions I mentioned, or have you found some new and innovative way to solve the problem. If so, you can't keep it a secret. The world must know!
Mike

Well, the thread that Ron pointed to didn't help me in determining the notion of "currency issues."  Is it described anywhere in lay terms.
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Ron Edwards

Bailey,

I suggest we start then with the essay itself, which at least attempts to explain Currency. Tell me where it goes kerflooey for you or otherwise needs clarification.

I also suggest that you start a new thread for this purpose.

Best,
Ron

Bailey

Okay, lets see here.  There are three (or up to seven depending on how playtest goes and how you define stats) types of stats in Men of Teak.

First are the traits.  These are innate and determine the degree of success.
Second are abilities.  These determine chance of success.
Techniques are special martial abilities.  These are unique in that they assist chance of success and damage in combat.
Drives are stats that influence the chance of success depending on why the character is performing their action or influence damage of a (super move).
Character style and powers are also stats but not numerical ones.

The things derived from these are the super meters, wound points (I said it was old school) and stun threshold.  The derived things are multiples of other stats or generated by adding stats.

Every value of a stat will have an effect on the derived value, and the derived value cannot be purchased directly (to avoid your soybean trading to an extent).

It has experience points which reward attendance, which is dependent on how important of a session it was.  Success is not given a reward since I consider it a reward in itself, and (as this is old school gamist) would reward unbalanced characters with the opprotunity make characters even more unbalanced.
The Drives are increased with roleplaying rewards (there is no ability to cash in Drives to get any other type of stat.  Also each Drive is increased in its own way inspired by the reknown of L5R).

What should be noted is that I like stats that are Effectivness related.  Metagame stuff is tied to Effectiveness with the Drives (motivations form bonused).  Resource values exist in the Wound Points (how many till you drop), experience points, Actions (can take as many actions as the Cool score) and super meter (charge up and get one super move when it's full) but I'm not happy with having resources.  Even three seems like too many for a game with a focus on manoevers over resource management in action.

Breakpoints currently exist in there's an upper level for stats, and after that there isn't much use.  I don't really think of this as a problem because I have qualms with an upper limit on the game.  It isn't supposed to be infinitely scalable or even to pretend that it is a la Champions.
Soybean counting is a problem in that both Trait and Technique affect damage in combat.  It was one of the things early playtesters wanted, and it kinda makes sense but it screws with balance (and I have said that this is old school gamist).

The only solution I've got so far is to nix the double hit in effectiveness that Techniques provide (but that is not optimal as it interferes with my vision of what things should be presented as important by the game system.
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Paganini

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Quote from: PaganiniHowever, it does eleminate the breakpoint problem that we were discussing.

So far the new version [of D6] sounds pretty good.

<SLASH>

Is the new system different (I haven't looked at it, having heard that it was pretty much the same thing).

Well, the Herc / Xena game actually does use a split pool. It's Herc and Xena after all... who cares if the point weight is the same for every character. :)

However, WEG encourages people to customize the system greatly (the original D6 even had a core rulebook that was basicaly a collection of switches and dials for you to set, creating your own custom D6 game).

The typical way to avoid identical weighting of characters is with ricial or occupational templates. In the Herc / Xena game, the races only affect the distribution of your attributes (that is racial mins and maxes a la D&D). However, the Matrix game gives a different number of skill points depending on your background. Resuscitated characters have fewer skill points than freeborn, but resuscitated characters have more Matrix abilities (neurals).

The only problem I've found with this is that it's very specific to the individual game. You can't just pick up the game and go without figuring out exactly who gets a bonus / penalty to skill points. If game balance is an issue to you, it's a bit tricky to build the templates and keep everything working right, simply *because* there's no exchange rate to keep track of. In the long run, it's hard to say how many skill points are worth an attribute point or vice versa.

<edit:> That is, since players can create their own templates, it's pretty easy for them to create something like "Skilled <whatever>" and give themselves extra skill points. But since there's no official exchange rate between skill points and attribute points, there's no system construct to prevent them from giving themselves a million skill dice. It's pretty much up to the GM to decide what's reasonable.